Caught Lying Again

The problem with The New York Times is that you don’t know whether they are simply misinformed or are deliberately lying.

Yesterday The New York Times article posted an article about the New England Patriots visit to the White House. The headline of the article is “Tom Brady Skips Patriots’ White House Visit Along With Numerous Teammates.”

At the end of the article is a correction:

Correction: April 19, 2017

An earlier version of this article included photos comparing the size of the Patriots’ gathering at the White House in 2015 and the gathering on Wednesday. The photo from Wednesday only showed players and coaches; the 2015 photo showed players, coaches and support staff and has been removed.

So what is this all about? It’s about The New York Times politicizing a visit by the winning Super Bowl team to the White House. The headline states that ‘numerous teammates’ skipped the visit to the White House. That headline is totally misleading, even the facts given in the article do not fit the headline.

The New York Times article states:

A Patriots spokesman, Stacey James, said Wednesday night that 34 players had attended, similar to the turnout when President George W. Bush hosted them in 2004 and 2005. He said that more than 45 players attended the ceremonies in 2002, after the franchise’s first Super Bowl, and that in 2015, when Barack Obama was president, the number of players approached 50.

James said that one reason substantially fewer players showed up this time as compared to 2015 was that some veteran players did not see the need to go twice in three years.

I realize that this is trivial pursuit, but I lived in Massachusetts about five miles from the Patriots’ stadium for thirty-five years and although I am not a Patriots fan (Jets fan), I hate to see the team being used for political purposes when there should be no politics involved. The Super Bowl win in January was spectacular, and the team should be honored for the effort involved in that comeback. Period. This is not the time for The New York Times to make political points, and the New England Patriots office has called them on their fake news.

Gentlemen, This Is A Football

Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi was known for beginning the first team meeting of the preseason by stating, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” The Green Bay Packers were the team to beat in the 1960’s, winning the first two Super Bowls. Vince Lombardi was their coach during this time. Many of the players at those initial team meetings had already won Super Bowls. So what is the point of the statement, “Gentlemen, this is a football?” Simple, there comes a time (quite often) when you simply have to get back to basics.

The news story of the day is the resignation of General Flynn. The bottom line on the story is that the General was not totally truthful in his statements to Vice-President Pence about his contacts with Russia. The contacts with Russia may not actually be a serious problem, but if you want to be part of an administration, it’s not a good idea to lie to those in charge. However, there is much more to the story.

Those of us who want more honesty in government may not be too upset by this resignation. General Flynn is a good man who made a mistake. Unfortunately that mistake cost him his job.

Yesterday, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the kerfuffle that reminds us of some of the elements surrounding the story.

These are some of the observations in the article:

Thus, I agree with David Goldman that even if reports of the conversation are true, Trump need not remove Flynn over it. (Goldman, by the way, sees the attack on Flynn as part of a CIA vendetta against the retired general).

Misleading Mike Pence, if that’s what Flynn did, is another matter. Obviously, the president and the vice president should be able to count on the national security adviser for honest reports about his conversations with foreign ambassadors (and about all other matters). If Flynn was not honest, that’s a problem.

…ONE MORE THING: It’s clear from the Post’s (Washington Post) report that Sally Yates and the others discovered that the Russians conceivably could blackmail Flynn by listening to a recording of the Russian ambassador’s phone call with Flynn. That’s how they learned Russia could show Flynn might have misled Pence about what was said during the call.

Thus, the Post has reported that the U.S. is tapping the Russian ambassador’s phone. Now, maybe the Russians already know, or assume, this. On the other hand, it may be that the Post has harmed U.S. intelligence gathering capability by running its breathless “blackmail” story.

One final thought. Remember that those of us who want President Trump to drain the swamp are not playing on a level playing field. The political left and their allies in the press are working very hard to undermine President Trump. You could probably also include many career government workers in that category. So what is going on here is not simply the resignation of someone who was less than truthful in his dealings with his boss. The political left will celebrate this as a victory because they caused the removal of General Flynn. We need to be very careful that this does not become a pattern. Also, anyone in the Trump Administration needs to realize that they have to be one hundred percent above board in their actions or the press will destroy them. This is not the Obama Administration where obvious violations of civil rights laws and other laws was overlooked by the press. Under a Republican Administration, the press will suddenly rediscover its role as watchdog.

The People Who Control The Language Control The Argument

The people who control the language control the argument. This was made very clear recently in the debate over Arizona SB 1062. The bill was designed to protect the rights of Christians in the marketplace. The legislature of Arizona felt that the bill was necessary because of various incidents resulting in lawsuits in other states. When the State of Arizona passed the bill through its legislature, the state was threatened with boycotts, loss of the Super Bowl, and various other forms of economic harassment. The bill was labeled ‘anti-gay,’ ‘Jim Crow, and various other things. The opponents controlled the language. The bill is only two pages long. It is written in legalese, but is fairly straightforward and easy to understand.

Power Line posted a link to the bill on Tuesday.  Here is the bill:

State of Arizona

Senate

Fifty-first Legislature

Second Regular Session

2014

 SB 1062

Introduced by

Senators Yarbrough: Barto, Worsley

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 41‑1493 and 41‑1493.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to the free exercise of religion.

  (TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 41-1493, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

41-1493.  Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1.  “Demonstrates” means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.

2.  “Exercise of religion” means the practice or observance of religion, including the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

3.  “Government” includes this state and any agency or political subdivision of this state.

4.  “Nonreligious assembly or institution” includes all membership organizations, theaters, cultural centers, dance halls, fraternal orders, amphitheaters and places of public assembly regardless of size that a government or political subdivision allows to meet in a zoning district by code or ordinance or by practice.

5.  “Person” includes a religious assembly or institution any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.

6.  “Political subdivision” includes any county, city, including a charter city, town, school district, municipal corporation or special district, any board, commission or agency of a county, city, including a charter city, town, school district, municipal corporation or special district or any other local public agency.

7.  “Religion‑neutral zoning standards”:

(a)  Means numerically definable standards such as maximum occupancy codes, height restrictions, setbacks, fire codes, parking space requirements, sewer capacity limitations and traffic congestion limitations.

(b)  Does not include:

(i)  Synergy with uses that a government holds as more desirable.

(ii)  The ability to raise tax revenues.

8.  “Suitable alternate property” means a financially feasible property considering the person’s revenue sources and other financial obligations with respect to the person’s exercise of religion and with relation to spending that is in the same zoning district or in a contiguous area that the person finds acceptable for conducting the person’s religious mission and that is large enough to fully accommodate the current and projected seating capacity requirements of the person in a manner that the person deems suitable for the person’s religious mission.

9.  “Unreasonable burden” means that a person is prevented from using the person’s property in a manner that the person finds satisfactory to fulfill the person’s religious mission.

Sec. 2.  Section 41-1493.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

41-1493.01.  Free exercise of religion protected; definition

A.  Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral.

B.  Except as provided in subsection C, government of this section, state action shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.

C.  Government State action may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it the opposing party demonstrates that application of the burden to the person person’s exercise of religion in this particular instance is both:

1.  In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.

2.  The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

D.  A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, and obtain appropriate relief against a government regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceeding.  The person asserting such a claim or defense may obtain appropriate relief.  A party who prevails in any action to enforce this article against a government shall recover attorney fees and costs.

E.  In For the purposes of this section, the term substantially burden is intended solely to ensure that this article is not triggered by trivial, technical or de minimis infractions.

F.  For the purposes of this section, “state action” means any action by the government or the implementation or application of any law, including state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and policies, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether the implementation or application is made or attempted to be made by the government or nongovernmental persons.

 

I have posted the bill in order to allow readers to draw their own conclusions about what the bill said and what the bill didn’t say. Those of us who support family values and religious freedom need to be very aware of what happens when those who oppose these values control the vocabulary.

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Question Of The Day

On Monday, Fox News reported on President Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly:

Obama addressed concerns over Benghazi, the launch of HealthCare.gov and the IRS, during the interview Sunday before the Super Bowl. He adamantly rejected the suggestion that the IRS was used for political purposes by singling out Tea Party groups seeking tax exemption.

“That’s not what happened,” he said. Rather, he said, IRS officials were confused about how to implement the law governing those kinds of tax-exempt groups.

“There were some bone-headed decisions,” Obama conceded. 

But when asked whether corruption, or mass corruption, was at play, he responded: “Not even mass corruption — not even a smidgen of corruption.”

The question of the day (and it is not an original question) is, “if there was not a smidgen of corruption, why did Lois Lerner take the fifth rather than testify before Congress?”

Yesterday Scott Johnson at Power Line posted a letter from William Henck, a man who has worked inside the IRS Office of the General Counsel as an attorney for over 26 years. I am not going to post the letter as it is very long, but I strongly suggest that you follow the link to Power Line and read the letter. It is chilling.

Scott Johnson also posted a story at Power Line today about Cleta Mitchell, who he describes as the most dangerous woman in America. Ms. Mitchell is the Washington attorney who represents several clients victimized by the criminal misconduct of the IRS over the past four years. A video of her testimony before Congress on Thursday is included in the article. She is smart and articulate–she does represent a danger to the Obama Administration. Please watch the video to see why.

The IRS scandal is dangerous to America. It means that whichever party is in power in Washington can use the IRS to target its enemies. This is an impeachable offense, and any administration that engages in this behavior should be faced with the threat of impeachment.

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Things Are Not Always What They Appear To Be

On Wednesday Breitbart.com reported that actress Scarlett Johansson has resigned her role as “ambassador” for Oxfam International after the global charity criticized her for appearing in a Sodastream commercial that was prepared for the Super Bowl. Sodastream has a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, an eastern suburb of Jerusalem (the area referred to as the West Bank). The entire concept of the West Bank as Arab territorial is not historical (see rightwinggranny.com), but that discussion can continue at some point in the future.

It gets more interesting. Breitbart reports:

Though it is widely understood that Ma’ale Adumim and its roughly 40,000 residents would remain part of Israel in any likely peace agreement with the Palestinians, Palestinians have long opposed its construction and continue to demand its removal. Sodastream, like other Israeli companies, has been criticized for several years by the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Oxfam has not officially endorsed the BDS movement, but openly opposes trade with Israeli companies doing business in the West Bank.

But sometimes international organizations do not represent the view of the people they claim to represent. Yesterday the Christian Science Monitor reported:

The Jewish actress’s promotion of the company in a Superbowl ad has propelled an international campaign to boycott the home sodamaker and today forced the actress to step down as a global ambassador for the humanitarian agency Oxfam.

But those most familiar with the factory – Palestinians who work there – largely side with Ms. Johansson.

“Before boycotting, they should think of the workers who are going to suffer,” says a young man shivering in the pre-dawn darkness in Azzariah, a West Bank town cut off from work opportunities in Jerusalem by the concrete Israeli separation wall. Previously, he earned 20 shekels ($6) a day plucking and cleaning chickens; now he makes nearly 10 times that at SodaStream, which also provides transportation, breakfast, and lunch.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a website called 14u is reporting that the Sodastream ad intended to be played during the Super Bowl has been revised and will be played during the Super Bowl. Just for the record, I own a Sodastream and love it!

Before calling for a boycott, it is a good idea to make sure you are not hurting the same people you claim to be supporting.

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The Super Bowl Just Won’t Be The Same

I could start this story by questioning the wisdom of the people who scheduled the Super Bowl in New Jersey in January, but I will restrain myself. However, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of banning tailgating at the Super Bowl. I am aware (because of a paper one of my daughters did on her way to a Master’s Degree in marketing) that there is a Commissioner of Tailgating. Was he consulted on this? I understand the need for security, but this seems a little severe.

ESPN posted some of the details of the Super Bowl arrangements on its website yesterday.

The article explains:

“You will be allowed to have food in your car and have drink in your car,” Kelly said. “And provided you’re in the boundaries of a single parking space, you’ll be able to eat or drink right next to your car. However, you’re not going to be able to take out a lounge chair, you’re not going to be able to take out a grill, and you’re not going to be able to take up more than one parking space. And it’ll all be watched very carefully.”

…There will be only three ways for the expected 80,000 ticket holders to get to the game. The committee will charter buses called the Fan Express, which will cost $51 and pick up and drop off passengers at nine locations around the region. Fans can also take N.J. Transit to the MetLife Stadium stop or be dropped off by vehicles that must have parking passes.

There will be fewer than 13,000 parking spots available for fans.

And hiring a black car, taxi or limo won’t be an option for VIPs who will spend thousands of dollars per ticket. No cars will be allowed near the stadium on game day without parking passes, and any car that drops off a passenger will have to wait at the stadium.

Wow. I think they just sucked the fun out of the whole thing.

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Clint Eastwood Remixed

Posted at Legal Insurrection yesterday:

I like the combination of the video from the Superbowl and the Clint Eastwood speech at the Republican Convention. The speech at the Republican Convention did nothing for me, although my husband loved it. My husband finally concluded that if you didn’t like the ‘spaghetti westerns,’ you probably didn’t like the convention speech.

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Does The Government Want To Enforce The Border With Mexico ?

CBN News posted a story today about a technology that would make a huge difference along America‘s southern border with Mexico.

The article reports:

Arlington, Texas, is home of the Cowboys stadium, and one of the most technologically advanced municipalities in the country.

CBN News met a man there who developed the security system for the Super Bowl, and may also hold the key to securing the southern border.

“The fence is a wonderful tool if you want to stop wildlife, if you want to stop livestock, if you want to stop somebody for 30 seconds,” Dan Hammons, owner of Hammons Enterprises, explained.

“We think the border needs to be a line in the sand as opposed to a wide area,” he added.

“If a person crawls over that fence or crosses that border illegally, we have a wide array of sensing technologies that will set off an alarm and will turn on a camera on a node tower,” Hammons said. “So you can determine, is it a person, is it a deer, is it a cow.”

“With our system, I’m confident that we are going to detect 100 percent of the people crossing that border illegally,” he boldly claimed.

Mr. Hammons ‘security system costs about $1 million less per mile than the border fence. Because of the bandwidth of his security system, Border Patrol agents would be able to see thousands of video streams covering thousands of miles in real time.

The article at CBN reports the government’s response:

Still, decision makers in Washington have repeatedly turned down Hammons’ ideas.

“They have shut the door in our face,” he said.

“We offered to do this for them for free. We wanted to build a three-mile section of it for free. No cost or obligation to the government, all we wanted was an operational evaluation,” Hammons recalled.

He hinted that the system’s potential may be viewed by some as a political problem.

“We’re going to be able to tell the truth about what’s going on on the border,” Hammons said. “We’re going to be able to show the American public exactly what is happening down there.”

In the meantime, ranchers along Arizona’s border feel like they’re stuck in a war zone.

“Regardless of what Homeland Security and Border Patrol says, the border isn’t as safe as it’s ever been,” Ladd said. “There’s more drugs coming right now than ever before.”

“A guy driving a Border Patrol truck up and down the fence isn’t going to cut it,” he added.

Why is the government ignoring a solution to securing our border that would be both cheaper and more effective?

 

 

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